Tag Archives: Adam-Troy Castro

The Monstrous edited by Ellen Datlow

Overview
Image result for the monstrous ellen datlow book cover

Title: The Monstrous
Author: Ellen Datlow, Jeffrey Ford, Peter Straub, Dale Bailey, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Gemma Files, Livia Llewellyn, Adam-Troy Castro, Kim Newman, Jack Dann, Gardner Dozois, Carole Johnstone, Brian Hodge, Stephen Graham Jones, Adam L. G. Nevill, Sofia Samatar, Terry Dowling, Glen Hirshberg, A.C. Wise, Steve Rasnic Tem, Christopher Fowler & John Langan
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Horror, Short story collections
Dates read: 8th January – 3rd June 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Tachyon
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: “I supppose I do,” I reply.

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Synopsis

Horror’s most acclaimed editor reveals twenty riveting tales of the Other gone wrong. Monsters who suffer from heartbreak, betrayal, ungrateful kids, and unpaid overtime. Creatures of darkness that struggle to adapt to modern living. Ordinary folks who find themselves inexplicably transformed. 88 But if you dare, come a bit closer and discover the most terrifying of beings – those who are living under your own skin and peering out from behind your eyes.

Thoughts

This collection is brilliant. It is dark, creepy and intense. It is fun. It gave me goose bumps. And it is filled with monsters who come in ALL shapes and sizes. And I mean ALL. A wonderful, fantastic and seriously enjoyable collection filled with the things that go bump in the night. The things that you really hope aren’t hiding under your bed.

Although this anthology sits in my horror shelf, it isn’t really all that scary. Sure, there are multiple moments of discomfort throughout. But they’re that, you have to think a little too much, or consider the many moments of confusion throughout this story that you really don’t necessarily want to think too much about. And, honestly, it’s not the things that jump out and yell BOO that make me love horror. It’s that underlying discomfort that makes you look at your own life that I am quickly becoming obsessed with.

I absolutely adored this collection. It was filled with some familiar names and new ones. Each and every story made me stop and really think about what the storyline was saying. And even now, when I have still finished the whole collection… I am still thinking about some of the stories that I read.

<- Run, Rabbit, RunA Natural History of Autumn ->

Image source: Amazon

The Totals by Adam-Troy Castro

Overview
Image result for the monstrous ellen datlow book cover

Title: The Totals
Author: Adam-Troy Castro
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Horror
Dates read: 25th March 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Tachyon
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: It seems strange but right for the door on the other side of the vestibule, leading to the diner interior, to be scaled to his dimensions: a novelty, he’s always possessed an awkward shape and monstrous bulk that makes breaking down doors somewhat more natural than opening them.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Clutch knows he has killed recently. But he can’t remember who. He can’t remember why. Walking by chance into an inn that feels like home might provide the answers… or just oblivion.

Thoughts

The start of this story is seriously creepy and horrific. It starts with Clutch knowing that he has killed someone recently. That he always knows this. He just doesn’t know who or why. He does know how… he literally “clutches” them to death. And then he walks into a dinner and you think that things are just going to get worse. It’s a spinetingling way to start a story. And the imagery of the blood still lingering on his clothes… just seems to make it all that much worse.

There are so many ideas about the things that go bump in the night. Although, there are always a few common, recognisable aspects among these. This story found unique ways to create new horrors, but also provided the reader with some of the classics that you immediately recognise. It’s a great mix of the traditional and the new. And spouting the things that go bump in the night as members of a corporation who just want to climb the ladder… well, it kind of mixes two things that are kind of scary.

Although this is a great little horror short story, it’s also a little amusing. In that satirical way. That way that makes you sit back afterwards and go “huh”. That was good, that made some great comments on the way that the world works. And yes, things aren’t ever equal. Regardless of how much we may want them to be.

<- The Last, Clean, Bright SummerThe Chill Clutch of the Unseen ->

Image source: Amazon